Is It On?

Thu, May 1, 2014 - 11:20pm

Reports are spotty so far but it appears that the Ukrainian government has begun an operation against the pro-Russian forces in Slavyansk. Watch this situation closely overnight as things may evolve rather quickly.

Please use this thread to update things during the morning hours in Europe. It is 11:11 NY time as I type and here is some of the information I've been able to pull from Twitter:

RT @StateOfUkraine pro-#Kremlin radio chatter in #Sloviansk #Ukraine: helicopters are shooting at our check points. Everyone get up! |EMPR

— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 2, 2014

According to our information right now, all checkpoints around #Sloviansk #Ukraine have been attacked

— Ukraine Reporter (@StateOfUkraine) May 2, 2014

4.30am #Ukrainian troops started storming terrorists in #Slovyansk @EuroMaydan |EMPR #Ukraine #Russia #RussianInvasion

— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 2, 2014

A video from #Slovyansk, #Ukraine now |EMPR #Ukraine #Russia #RussianInvasion

— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 2, 2014

Terrorists in downtown of #Slovyansk now @euromaidan |EMPR #Ukraine #Russia #RussianInvasion

— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 2, 2014

RT @Thoreau_H_D #Slovyansk SBU. Pro-Russian Russians with rocket launcher via @sashakots |EMPR #Ukraine #Russia

— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 2, 2014

RT @Thoreau_H_D #euromaidan TV tower taken. APC's surround #Slavyansk. |EMPR #Ukraine #Russia

— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 2, 2014
Obviously, this is a fluid and dangerous situation. Please monitor closely via twitter and ZeroHedge.

About the Author

turd [at] tfmetalsreport [dot] com ()


May 1, 2014 - 11:28pm



May 1, 2014 - 11:29pm

"I'm Yo Pusha..." - IMF

Ukraine wants that IMF money!

May 1, 2014 - 11:31pm

Boom goes the dynomite

First. (just had to do it)

Me thinks this leads to the larger Russian invasion in the upcoming days.

May 1, 2014 - 11:31pm

I tweeted this earlier but

I tweeted this earlier but finally found it on YT so that I could embed it. This is from Donetsk on Wednesday.

May 1, 2014 - 11:32pm

Let's hope not

but I think it is

Listened to the McAlvany podcast today and they had George Friedman on discussing the Ukraine. Might be a worth while listen


May 1, 2014 - 11:35pm


Wow. You'd think that the world would be just a little jumpy at what's going on. Gold is still hugging 1280 and silver is still doing it's lap dance around $19.00.

Just unbelievable the control and power these banks have with their arms around the throat of the metals..........

It's going to be an interesting morning. Kind of like the guy who downs 15 red bulls and vodka. If everything stays calm he will fall asleep, but look at him cross eyed and he'll blow through the ceiling. That's the metals tomorrow...............


May 1, 2014 - 11:36pm

one more


RT @StateOfUkraine Unconfirmed report that a Ukrainian helicopter pilot has been taken prisoner after being shot down in #Sloviansk #Ukraine

— Euromaidan PR (@EuromaidanPR) May 2, 2014
May 1, 2014 - 11:38pm


Thurd. Haven't found corroboration yet but still looking.

May 1, 2014 - 11:49pm

Honest Corporations.

Language advisory on this one.

AUSTRALIANS FOR COAL. What is your investment dollar doing?

May 1, 2014 - 11:55pm

UA Gunships Firing?

RT reporting that one of its photographers has seen a helicopter open fire on the outskirts of

UPDATE: 2 Ukrainian army helicopters downed, 1 pilot dead, 1 captured – Slavyansk self-defense leader

May 1, 2014 - 11:58pm

Why is russia important to

Why is russia important to me? How is this going to make my metals worth more. I dont care about other peoples problems... but thanks for the update.

May 2, 2014 - 12:06am



May 2, 2014 - 12:11am


TIMES these are.

My gut says the crazyer the statements are and the actions are the closer to the default , Considering the BS in the US has been piling up since the beginning of modern recorded time and now are resembling Baron Münchhausen. The reality of how badly the economy is doing, How there is a government that is completely non functional incapable of passing any laws or bills. Is operating without any form of responsibility or moral. Where there are rules for the rich to remain rich and screw the rest, is best portrayed by the F-35 that on paper is the best plane in the world but is still not ready and may never be. Originally cost 233 billion, now will cost 1 trillion and previous buyers of the plane are dropping like flies and there remains the question if there is even a need for the plane. As a cherry to top it off, the design and software of the plane was stolen and more than likely the people that the plane would be flying against most probably have everything they need to bring it down or copy it. A complete FUBAR

AN EASYER AND SIMPLER COMPARISON would be the 3 little pigs and trust be the US did not build thee brick house but the sure did hoard allot of BS

May 2, 2014 - 12:11am

Conscription Ordered in Ukraine...

Good f'ing luck with that. If NATO installed a new (dick)head as "leader" in my country and he activated the draft I know one citizen who'd say "KISS MY ASS!". Unfreakingbelievable.

May 2, 2014 - 12:17am

Kramatorsk also?


Sirens in . Ukrainian military may be entering the city now.

May 2, 2014 - 12:22am


Why is russia important to me?

Because this fight is really about a US/Nato backed coup (Ukrainians) against the Ukrainians pro Russian citizens/ forces. If the US forces win it's just another day for silver. If pro Russian forces win it will greatly upset the western banking elite and could result in a release of the beach ball being held under water.

Dark Horse
May 2, 2014 - 12:38am

Gold smash down Wed & Thurs

Makes sense now that the squid ordered a smackdown of gold and silver the last two days prior to the Ukranians being sent to attack East Ukranian pro-russia militia to unlock the IMF bounty.

A fear trade may develop.

Im looking forward to the Friday afternoon pod-cast.

ps watch 3 x inverse russia etf RUSS in fridays trade.

May 2, 2014 - 12:57am


What ever happened to the U.N. in all of this???? Haven't heard Jack from them. What, they don't want to conflict with NATo?

nzallblack Icarus
May 2, 2014 - 1:13am

Birth/Death Model

the B/D model will ensure 200k jobs and we will be looking at $1250/$18.50...

Surfista Plateado
May 2, 2014 - 2:00am

Ukraine Draft


Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov has reinstated military conscription to deal with deteriorating security in the east of the country.

Turchynov signed the decree on Thursday, the same day pro-Russian militants seized the regional prosecutor’s office in the eastern city of Donetsk.

The decree reinstates the draft for non-exempt Ukrainian men between 18 and 25 years old and cites what it describes as "the further aggravation of the socio-politcal situation" in eastern and southern Ukraine, as well as "blatant aggression" by "illegal" armed pro-Russian groups.

May 2, 2014 - 2:19am
May 2, 2014 - 2:24am

May 2, 2014 - 2:39am

Why Slavyansk?

Ukraine Crisis: The Strategic Importance of Slavyansk

RUSI Analysis, 1 May 2014 By Dr Igor Sutyagin, Research Fellow, Russian Studies; Professor Michael Clarke, Director General; Dr Jonathan Eyal, International Director and International Studies Director

The Ukranian city of Slavyansk has become the focus in a game of deterrence and brinkmanship that Kiev and Moscow feel compelled to play and in which, despite evident Russian military planning, neither is likely to be in full control.

The city of Slavyansk in eastern Ukraine has a symbolic value in bearing the generic name of the Slavic peoples of both Russia and Ukraine. But there are hard strategic reasons why this small city has become the new focus of the Ukrainian crisis over recent days. It is at the centre of an escalating game of deterrence that both Kiev and Moscow are playing against each other.

In the event of a conventional Russian military invasion of the territories of eastern Ukraine it is highly unlikely that Kiev’s troops could do more than buy a certain amount of time. In any direct military confrontation Ukrainian forces would lose. That does not mean, however, that the government in Kiev is without any military cards to play.

Kiev knows that it has a strategic reserve of Kalashnikov assault rifles and other light weapons stored in Ukraine as a mobilisation reserve dating back to Soviet times. It has hinted quietly but strongly in back channels between Ukrainian and Russian military establishments that it might be prepared to open this strategic reserve of weapons to an eastern Ukrainian population prepared to resist any Russian military incursions. Since the stockpile consists of up to five million weapons, the prospect would be a nightmare for Russian military planners if they realistically prepared to move into eastern areas of Ukraine. The prospect of civil war and an anti-Russian insurgency on an unprecedented scale with unpredictable consequences represents a real – if extremely dangerous – bargaining chip for Kiev.

The stark fact is that at least half the strategic stockpile of light weapons on Ukrainian territory is concentrated near Slavyansk.

This explains many of the manoeuvres around this small and otherwise unimportant city. On 24 April Ukrainian authorities re-launched their ‘counter-terrorist operation’ against Russian separatists who had occupied key areas to restore Kiev’s control over Slavyansk. In a coordinated response Russian forces edged closer to the Ukrainian border in such a way as to threaten a territorial incursion to support the separatists. This Russian move was dangerous but had the desired effect when the Ukrainian counter-terrorist operation was immediately halted by Kiev. It was an interesting standoff between two sides threatening each other with their adversary’s worst fears.

Cutting off Kiev’s Strategic Weapons Reserve

Such a standoff has illuminated a number of strategic factors. The multiple seizures of government buildings in eastern Ukraine, not just in Slavyansk but also in Konstantinovka in Donetsk Oblast are aimed to make it impossible for Ukrainian forces to fully control the territory and, in effect, to cut it off from its strategic stockpile of light arms which are the essence of Kiev’s present deterrent posture.

Whereas symbolic government buildings in other cities might be occupied by Russian separatists for political and symbolic reasons, in Slavyansk the separatists effectively control the whole city and the immediate surrounding area. They have physical control over the strategic weapons reserve.

Certainly, there is evidence of instructions to Russian military personnel prior to their infiltration into Ukraine that the multiple seizures of government buildings and areas across a wide region of eastern Ukraine were explicitly to prevent any concentration among the opposing Ukrainian forces.

Moscow Fears the Worst

Secondly, whether or not military leaders in Moscow are effectively deterred by Kiev’s warnings of an extensive insurgency, their manoeuvres around Slavyansk indicate that they have not excluded the option of a ground invasion of parts of eastern Ukraine. Slavyansk evidently matters to them in some significant way that goes far beyond the city’s industrial, geographical or political importance.

It is possible, of course, that Moscow fears the export of armed insurgency onto Russian soil as revenge for the Crimean annexation. More outlandishly, it is also plausible that the Russians are concerned that weapon stocks in Slavyansk might be used for ‘ethnic cleansing’ or even genocidal purposes against Russian minorities in a Ukrainian civil war.

However far-fetched, such a motivation cannot be ruled out in Moscow where the characterisation of the Kiev government is that it is dominated by the ‘Right Sector’ composed of fascists and violent nationalists.

Russian Special Forces Already in Slavyansk

Thirdly, the presence of ‘Spetsnaz’ forces among the separatists in eastern Ukraine and around Slavyansk is completely consistent with the operational and combat doctrines of Spetsnaz units. One of the ‘special tasks’ of Spetsnaz forces – unlike their main task of reconnaissance per se – is the ‘liquidation’ or ‘neutralisation’ of strategically significant stores of armaments in areas where they may operate.

There is also evidence that instructors of the Special Reconnaissance Department of the Ryazan Airborne Troops Academy are also present among the separatists in Slavyansk. These elements would offer efficient coordination between the actions of separatists and Russian troops on the other side of the border.

Intervention Through Peacekeeping

Finally, there has been a notable increase in the public discussion by Russian diplomatic representatives around the world that Russia would have a legal right to send peacekeeping units into Ukraine should the situation in Slavyansk and other cities deteriorate further (such statements have been made by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov , Russia’s permanent representative to the UN Vitaliy Churkin, as well as some Russian senators). The Geneva Agreement concluded by the US and Russia offers a useful mechanism for doing so: a Russian contingent could be presented as Moscow’s ‘contribution’ to an OSCE observer mission, which is explicitly called for in the Geneva Agreement.

On 24 April, in the Rostov Oblast, three columns of Russian troops including tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers and troop transports ,as well as twelve helicopter gunships accompanying one of the columns, were seen bearing recognised ‘peacekeeping forces’ markings on their vehicles. These columns have been spotted on the M4 highway near Kamensk-Shakhtinskiy and Shakhty and between Kamensk, and Krasniy Sulin.

It should be noted that the Geneva Agreement of 17 April contained considerable loopholes which did not define any restriction on the number either of observers to guarantee a peace process or the structure of any formations to support them. Regardless of what explanation Russia may offer, the real outcome of any military intervention will be to boost the forces which are already defending Slavyansk against Ukrainian government troops.

Slavyansk may be a small city that has never been on the political radar of Western planners until very recently. It now seems to be the focus for a game of deterrence and brinkmanship that Kiev and Moscow feel compelled to play and in which, despite evident Russian military planning, neither is likely to be in full control of all the elements at work on the ground. And the further use of military options remain very much part of Russia’s strategic thinking.

May 2, 2014 - 3:23am

It is Europe's turn to print

It is Europe's turn to print the Euro this year to counter balance the ongoing printing of the USD. So I would surmise that the Ukraine situation could be worked into that plan, although I find it difficult to see how it can be linked. Best guess is that some of the Russian pipelines are attacked by CIA sponsored groups, causing the european economy to contract.

S Roche
May 2, 2014 - 4:50am

Long Time No See...

In case you are interested, this is why I left this blog a long time ago, after being an early and ardent supporter:

I am surprised I am the first to post this. Discuss.

4 oz
May 2, 2014 - 4:52am


If there was ever a time for Sprott to make a big splash in the Silver market----this is the time! Been saying for a couple weeks that I've been thinking the week of May 5 thru 9th might be the best last opportunity to add Phyzz....and nothing so far has changed my mind....

May 2, 2014 - 5:19am

ZH is strangely quiet

Europe-side Durdens not awake yet?

Separatist ham radio calling on people of Slavyansk to come to main square "to make a video appeal to V.V. Putin for help."

Comments muse about this being a ruse to gather a crowd large enough for a 'mass casualty' event to develop, to which Russia would have to respond by intervening.

I am Jack's utter lack of surprise:

Ukraine detains Russian military attache for spying - Al Jazeera blog

Ukraine Says That Militants Won the East -- NYTimes

Some military analysis from NYT as to additional theaters which may be opening soon:

"Military experts say that the sort of strategy the Kremlin has employed in Ukraine is likely to work best in areas in which there are pockets of ethnic Russians to provide local support. The strategy is also easier to carry out if it is done close to Russian territory, where a large and intimidating force can be assembled and the Russian military can easily supply special forces.

“It can be used in the whole former Soviet space,” said Chris Donnelly, a former top adviser at NATO, who added that Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Central Asia states were “very vulnerable.”

Lots and lots of maps of the areas in question here. Notice anything particular when comparing this map of pipelines to the current location of activity:

All of the southeastern towns being 'liberated' also happen to sit along one of the major entry points of the Russian gas pipelines. The second larger pipe (second from the East) seems to be near Kharkiv, where incidentally the mayor has been shot:

Ukraine crisis: wounded Kharkiv mayor flown to Israel for treatment

...and there was a quaint, retro May Day parade there just yesterday:

And here's the ultimate 'pot calling the kettle black' scenario:

"Moscow is subjecting Ukrainians, Russians and the rest of the world to an intense campaign of disinformation" -- US State Dept.

We are ever so grateful that American diplomatic corps and the fiercely independent, fair and balanced, completely professional Mainstream Media in the US are presenting a complete, true and honest picture of the world in general and Ukraine in particular...

Along the same vein, State is now very concerned about free speech:

"Just yesterday, Russia’s Parliament passed a package of new restrictions on blogging and the Internet, a potent legislative cocktail of regression and repression."

I suppose that sorta makes sense as:

Rural Russians Turning to Internet Rather Than Television for News, New Study Finds (good for them, BTW)

Meanwhile, more party guests make their way quietly and unobtrusively toward the exits:

U.S. tells ally Bahrain 'not the time' to do business with Russia

"In a statement on Tuesday, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat to identify and work together on investment opportunities in their countries."

It's definitely promising to be an interesting weekend.

PS: Good to see you around, S Roche. Sorry you feel that way, it seems to me there is a whole lot more here than a goldbuggery cult. Especially if you are going to cite TraderDan -- why not simply partake of the wisdom at Pailin's, if trading is your primary interest?

S Roche J Y
May 2, 2014 - 5:30am


Thanks, the comments of the hive-mind is where I always found value in Turdville, like your comment and "Why Slavyansk" above, but I had to draw the line at Turd's refusal to incorporate (inconvenient) facts into his analysis and his insistence on a faith based approach to the metals. I think Dan's post is directed at Turd.

May 2, 2014 - 5:41am

They have been taking potshots at each other... an on for what feels like years now. The post also sounds to me like it could be just as easily directed at J. Sinclair. Silly, if you ask me.


Russia and Latin America: What gives?

"In the midst of the Ukrainian conflict, Sergey Lavrov has embarked on a Latin American diplomatic tour. After visiting Cuba earlier this week and Nicaragua on May 1, the Russian foreign minister headed to Peru and later Santiago de Chile to meet with newly elected Chilean president Michelle Bachelet. This journey across the Atlantic, far away from the growing unrest in Donetsk, Kharkov and Lugansk where pro-Russian separatist militias continue seizing administrative buildings, might have surprised some. Yet, the choice of each country visited by Lavrov and the timing of such bilateral talks obey clear foreign policy logic.

Terms imposed on Ukraine by IMF to secure latest approved bailout package:

Factbox: Ukraine's economic promises to the IMF

Official, longer IMF paper on the same here.

May 2, 2014 - 5:42am

S Roche

Yes, so many have left and it's now funny (weird) to see you, DPH and Eric O posting over at Dan's. I agree with your comment about 'faith based approach to metals'.


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